How to Recover a Deleted PowerPoint Presentation on Windows 10

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Recover ppt files on Windows

PowerPoint has been the presentation creator go-to application for decades, and for good reason. Users love the powerful features that it has to offer as it allows you to create some truly amazing presentations.

One of the worst things that can happen would be that we lose all of the hard work we put into a presentation. PowerPoint can sometimes lose our data for a number of reasons. Knowing how to recover an unsaved PowerPoint Presentation can bring back all of the work that you took the time to put into it.

What could have caused my PowerPoint Presentation to have been deleted?

While PowerPoint is much more robust and reliable these days, there are still chances that the app might not save your current presentation. When this happens it can be frustrating and no one wants to have to do the work they just did again.

Reasons that your presentation might not have saved correctly:

  • Hard drive issue
  • App crash
  • Operating system malfunction
  • Accidentally closing PowerPoint and forgetting to save
  • PowerPoint AutoSave failure
  • The presentation was written over

No matter what the reason that your PowerPoint information was deleted, there are multiple ways to recover the presentation and get it back onto your Windows machine.

What are the ways that I can recover a PowerPoint presentation?

There are multiple built-in features that are turned on by default that will allow you to recover a presentation. Acting fast is the best way to make sure you can recover your presentation as over time there is a smaller chance of successful recovery.

Option 1: Check your Recycling Bin for the PowerPoint presentation

You may have simply accidentally deleted the file and if you haven’t emptied your Recycling Bin recently, that is good news as it should still be there. You can go to the Recycling Bin and restore the file from there. This is true for any file that you delete, the Recycling Bin is a safety net put into place that adds another step in deleting a file.

restoring screenshots from recycling bin

Option 2: Recover your PowerPoint from a Windows backup

If you back up your Windows machine to an external hard drive, then the PowerPoint presentation should be stored there which makes your life a whole lot easier! All that you will have to do is restore the file from your backup and you can continue on with your day.

Step 1. Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Select your backup drive.

windows backup

Step 2. To restore your presentation, choose Restore my files.

Option 3: Check and look through your Temporary Files Folder

Step 1. Click Start and select Search from within the Windows Start-Up Menu.

Step 2. Type in the name of the file that you’re wanting to look for and then hit enter to search your Windows computer for the deleted file.

Step 3. If the presentation is located within the temporary files folder, it should show up in the results and it can then be recovered.

recovering presentation using temporary files

Option 4: Recover using the built-in unsaved presentation feature

Built right into PowerPoint is a recover feature that allows you to restore a presentation should something happen to it. This is perfect if you made changes to your work and then forgot to save it before something happened to it.

Steps to restore unsaved presentations:

Step 1. Launch PowerPoint on your Windows Machine.

Step 2. Click “File” in the upper left-hand corner of the screen and then you will see a “Recent” option located under “Open”.

Click File tab

Step 3. Scroll down to the bottom and select “Recover Unsaved Presentations”.

Recover unsaved presentations

The “Recover Unsaved Presentations” folder only saves these PowerPoints for a short period of time. If you need to recover a lost PowerPoint Presentation, act fast!

Option 5: Recover using the built-in AutoRecover feature

Built into PowerPoint and turned on by default is a feature that will create AutoRecover information that will save your presentation at different time intervals. This is a handy feature to use if you’re forgetful when it comes to clicking on the “Save” option from within PowerPoint which can happen if you’re in deep thought about your work.

It will allow you to recover your PowerPoint and load it back into the state that it was at when it was last saved. As mentioned this feature is on by default, but in the steps below we will look at how to access it, use it, and change your time interval settings.

Step 1. Launch PowerPoint.

Step 2. With your current presentation open, choose File > Options > Save.

Options tab

Step 3. From within Save, you can select a time interval for how often the AutoRecover feature will save your presentation should something happen to it. You can also turn on another option that will save your presentation if you close it and forget to save it before doing so. You can specify where the AutoRecover location will be on your Windows machine so that if you do need to find it, you will know the path to exactly right where it is.

Autosave options in powerpoint

Step 4. If this feature was already on, then you can go to the AutoRecover file location and open the recovered PowerPoint from there.

Option 6: Using 3rd part software to recover your presentation

If none of the above steps worked in recovering your presentation, then it’s time to move onto data recovery which can retrieve a file even if you have removed it from your computer.

Step 1. Download and install Disk Drill for Windows.

When using Disk Drill, it is best to install it onto an external hard drive or thumb drive as putting it on your Windows machine could overwrite the PowerPoint Presentation that we’re trying to recover. Also, try to limit installing other software or downloading other files as that can lower the chances of a successful recovery.

Step 2. Scan your Windows machine for the deleted PowerPoint Presentation.

select drive for scanning

To start a scan, click on the “Search for lost data” option in the lower right-hand corner of the screen. The scan will start but it will take a few moments to complete based on the amount of data that you have on your Windows machine.

Step 3. Wait for the scan process to complete and choose to review found items.

scanning the disk

Step 4. Search by the name of the PowerPoint Presentation that you want to recover and you can use a date filter if you know when it went missing.

filter found ppt files

Step 5. Select what you would like to recover.

recover ppt files

Step 6. Select a path for which the presentation will go after it has been recovered from Disk Drill.

select recovery destination

Step 7. Recovery has been completed and the path for where the files have been recovered to, is now shown.

recovery completed

With how busy our schedules are today, being able to recover a lost PowerPoint stops interruptions to your workflow. It will allow you to make sure that things are being completed on time and that computer mishaps won’t be able to get in the way of that. Nothing is worse than losing your data when you thought it was saved and now, that is no longer something to worry about.


Joel Lockard has had a love for technology his whole life. He works as a flight instructor and when not flying spends his time tinkering with technology especially Apple-related tech and Mac apps. He is always looking to make his Mac experience the most productive and unique.
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12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair.